Returning travellers often remark to me that New Zealand wine is expensive when compared to prices overseas. It’s often hard to respond to that criticism because they are often comparing apples and oranges.
Don Kavanagh reveals in the Wine-Searcher newsletter that they have created a “Moët Index” to compare the price of a wine that must surely be available in every country on the world. The concept was first tested by the Economist magazine with its Big Mac index that compared purchasing power parity between currencies by measuring the price of that universally available burger, the Big Mac.
Kavanagh writes; “we wanted to find a wine that was as close to the absolute average of all wines ever listed on Wine-Searcher and then find the most widely available of those, so we could look at price comparisons across various markets. The answer? Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial.
The average price of all the wines on Wine-Searcher is $50, which narrowed things down a little. There are 15 wines that hit the exact average, but only one with the kind of reach we need. While Penfolds Bin 389 and Montes Purple Angel Carmenere might be very popular New World wines and Châteaux Grand-Puy-Lacoste and Branaire-Ducru also fit the bill only Moët really matters when it comes to penetration, with almost twice as many offers listed around the world as its nearest rival.
According to Wine-Searcher the average price of Moët & Chandon Brut Imperial, converted to US$ is as follows:
New Zealand $43.25
South Africa $50.60
Hong Kong $56.85
So New Zealand isn’t quite as expensive as some would think.